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What Is An Oliebollen?

Holland is a beautiful country full of surprises, usually known for tulips fields, windmills, Gouda, and Edam cheese. But Oliebollen recipe is another Netherlands traditional specialty, starting from the 17th century until nowadays, the tradition of making or buying “Oliebollen” was always present to celebrate New Year’s Eve.
Just by looking at Aelbert Jacobsz Cuyp’s painting “A Woman holding Oliebollen” (Meid met Oliebollen) from 1652, you can understand this sweet connection, between the “Oliebollen”  and the Netherlands people.
Oliebollen” which means [oil balls] are simply fried dumplings, made with a risen dough, like doughnuts or French “Beignets“, this greasy or fatty name was given to them because the classic “Oliebollen” used to be fried in rapeseed oil or lard. The common name for Oliebollen in English is Dutchies, and in French is Croustillons.

YIELD: 12 Oliebollen

How To Make Oliebollen?

  •  250 g                         all-purpose flour
  •  150 ml                       whole milk, warm about 90 degrees
  •  2 tbsp                        active dry yeast
  •  40 g                           butter, softened, at room temperature
  •  30 g                           caster sugar
  •  2 tsp                          lemon zest
  •  1/3 tsp                      salt
  •   2                               eggs
  •   20 g                         raisins
  •   20 g                         currants
  •   3 tbsp                      powdered sugar, for dusting
  • Oil for deep frying

Note: A day before frying, soak the raisins and currants in warm water, rinse, drain and dry them with kitchen paper or towel.
  1. Mix the flour with salt and lemon zest. In a small bowl, dissolve the yeast in the warm milk with sugar, wait until bubbling, then pour over the flour.
  2. Add eggs and stir the batter for several minutes until well blended.
  3. Stir in the prepared raisins and currants. Cover the dough, and let rise until it doubled its volume.
  4. Transfer the dough to a greased large bowl, stir down, cover, and let rise again, until it doubled in size, about 1 hour.
  5. In a heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven, heat the oil, over medium heat (keep watching the oil, it shouldn’t be hot) to 375° F.
  6. Meanwhile, prepare plates with paper towels. Stir the dough down, and use an ice cream spoon or a large spoon to scoop the dough dumplings into the hot oil.
  7. Fry for about 4 to 6 minutes over medium heat, until “Oliebollen” are deep golden from each side. Adjust the heat as needed, and continue with the other batch.
  8. Transfer the “Oliebollen” onto the prepared plate with paper towels, and drain from the excess fat.
  9. Transfer the “Oliebollen” onto the serving plate, and sprinkle generously with powdered sugar.

 La Dorure’s Tips:

  • For a variation, use orange zest with dry cranberries and apricots.
  • Let the dough rise well.

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